Australian-born, London-based Sarah McKenzie writes original songs that pay tribute to lots of people. On her list are Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Michel Legrand and George Gershwin. This makes her hard to categorize.
She also admires a number of women musicians, and includes the legendary Marian McPartland as an early inspiration.
McKenzie was a scholarship student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and says she was really intimidated by the skill and talent she encountered when she first arrived. She worried the school had made a mistake giving her a scholarship. But she quickly hit her stride and hasn’t looked back.
By her own admission, McKenzie says she simply loves making music. She enjoys the composition process and, she says, her extensive international travel is a significant inspiration for her lyric writing. At the same time, she loves being with her family. Living in England makes it hard to get home a lot, but she tries.
She joins Insight to talk about her new album and her upcoming performance at the San Francisco Jazz Festival.